Vikings talks result in lotsa smoke, little fire

Sometimes it’s hard for me to know when to post an item here about some bit of stadium news, and when it seems like it’d just be playing into the spin going on in the rest of the media. For example, how to deal with this weekend’s spate of articles about how Minnesota Vikings stadium talks are ongoing but not accomplishing much yet?

How about we try wading through the sea of verbiage to pick out only anything that’s actual news? Like:

  • Using so called “Legacy Amendment” funds, from a statewide sales tax for arts and other projects passed in 2008, is still under consideration by Gov. Mark Dayton, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Also, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Dayton says he’s “not for the Legacy funds.” But also not against using them.
  • Dayton still plans to call a special session of the state legislature for the week of November 21, according to Minneapolis Public Radio. According to the Associated Press, he hasn’t decided on calling a special session yet, because “You can’t ask people to make a decision when they don’t have the facts.”
  • Dayton is okay with a stadium either in Arden Hills or Minneapolis, saying, “Any site, as long it’s in Minnesota, remains my determination.”
  • The governor thinks that the only choices are large public subsidies for a stadium or the team moving elsewhere. “You can’t say you’re for the stadium but you’re not for any reasonable means of financing it,” he said. Those who are opposed to public funding, he charged, “want the Vikings to leave Minnesota and go somewhere else.”

Add it all up, and you get … okay, not a whole heck of a lot. Except that Gov. Dayton really really wants to be seen as supporting the Vikings stadium effort, but is going to leave it to the legislature to decide which unpopular tax scheme to hang their hat on. If I had to bet, I’d still put my money on “reply hazy, ask again later” as the likely outcome of this month’s talks — though “later” could be as soon as the next regular legislative session in the spring.

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6 comments on “Vikings talks result in lotsa smoke, little fire

  1. “Those who are opposed to public funding, he charged, ‘want the Vikings to leave Minnesota and go somewhere else.\'”

    Nice. Because there are obviously no Vikings fans who want the team to stay but don’t want to buy them a stadium.

    I guess if you’re going to misrepresent the position of the opposition, you may as well go all out and really piss ’em off.

  2. “Those who are opposed to public funding (and you know who you are but we don’t want to know, in actual numbers, anyway) want the Vikings to leave Minnesota and go somewhere else.” Thanks, Governor Dayton, for clarifying that for us, but I sense an underlying message that we are bad, bad boys and girls. Not to support yet another stadium is tantamount to being anti-American even while people lose their shirts to people like Zygi Wilf in concert with state and local government. These proposals are supposed to cloak this ripoff in the “choice” that shows how democratic the whole thing is. “Name your poison”, say Rybak and Dayton.

    The hard-working people of Minnesota should not have to think about this matter at all. It’s a private business. Let it succeed or fail on its own merits.

  3. My favorite was his quote saying that the new Vikings stadium would be an economic windfall for the community that got it.

    Does anyone vet the things he says? Do any reporters question him on the facts behind that statement?

  4. Straw man arguments are all to comon in politics.

    If you don’t want to give this business money, you must want our economy to fail!

    I would love to see the proponents of this scheme be asked to front the money. Dayton can pitch in $50 million (he is good for it) and if there are ever any actual economic benefits he can take back a cut before the state does. Somehow I doubt any of the politicians would go in for this, because in their heart of hearts they know this doesn’t actually pay..

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